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About the conference

Invited speakers

Plenary session: Erika Koss, National Endowment for the Arts, Literature Specialist. "The Big Read and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence"

Guest speaker for the banquet is Dr. Suzanne Ferriss, Professor of English at Nova Southeastern University. Her publications have centered on the intersections of women’s literature, fashion, and cultural studies. She co-edited, with Shari Benstock, two volumes on the cultural study of fashion: On Fashion (1994) and Footnotes: On Shoes. She is also co-author, with Benstock, of A Handbook of Literary Feminisms (2002), and has written articles about Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, and the Brontë sisters, as well as popular films based on literary texts by Austen, Virginia Woolf and Helen Fielding. Most recently, she co-edited two companion volumes on “chick culture” with Mallory Young: Chick Lit: The New Woman’s Fiction (2006) and Chick Flicks: Contemporary Women at the Movies (2007). Her work on fashion and cultural studies has also led her into the emerging area of motorcycle studies. She contributed an essay on biker fashion to Harley-Davidson and Philosophy and, with Steven Alford, she is the author of the book Motorcycle . She also edits the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies .


The broad theme of this conference, organized by the Edith Wharton Society, aims to bring historical, cultural, and literary contexts to Wharton's life and all of her work.

Possible topics include: